California Flips the Switch on Massive New ERP

The state spent 11 years on what could be the nation's largest financial system upgrade. Roll out starts this week.

by / July 2, 2014

California’s extensive ERP overhaul – perhaps the largest in the nation -- is 11 years in the making, and began its Wave 1 transition and cutover activities on Monday, July 1.

Called the Next Generation Financial Information System for California or Fi$Cal, the program will attempt to streamline 2,500 legacy financial systems used across 124 departments, and its goal is to create a central financial platform for the state that allows fast, easy access to information. 

The Wave 1 transition seeks to deploy financial and budgeting functions to the FI$Cal partner agencies and a limited number of other departments. 

According to the FI$Cal website, Wave 1 is designed to deploy the Department of Finance’s (DOF) budget control agency functions, establishing FI$Cal as the budget system of record (meaning that FI$Cal will maintain the official record of the state’s budget); and department–level financial functions, including accounting, cash management, and procurement.

Detailed FI$Cal transition and cutover activities planned for July 1 - 16 include:

  • FI$Cal converts data from DOF legacy systems into Base Budget Upload spreadsheets
  • DOF validates converted data in spreadsheets
  • Departments schedule out appropriations in spreadsheets
  • DOF validates departments’ spreadsheets
  • FI$Cal loads FY14-15 budget data into Hyperion
  • DOF validates FY14-15 budget data in Hyperion
  • State Controller’s Office (SCO) validates Wave 1 departments’ FY14-15 budgets in Hyperion
  • SCO pushes FY14-15 budgets from Hyperion to PeopleSoft

Fi$Cal is a multi-year project combining 2,500 state legacy accounting, budgeting, cash management, and procurement operations into a single financial management system. Cost overruns and delays have plagued the project, which is more than a decade in the making. Once projected to cost as much as $1 .6 billion, the California Department of Technology’s website now estimates Fi$Cal will total $762 million. Work is expected to continue through 2016-17. 

The State Controller, State Treasurer, and the directors of the departments of Finance and General Services have entered into a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the project, and Accenture also is involved.

According to the DOT, “a Payee Data Record (STD 204) is required for each vendor conducting business with or receiving payment from the State of California. With the new statewide system, FI$Cal will now be responsible for centrally maintaining these documents. Therefore, to ensure FI$Cal has the most current and accurate information, [the state is] requesting vendors provide a new STD 204.”

Chi Emodi is Fi$Cal’s interim CIO and a permanent CIO is being recruited. 

This story was originally published by Techwire.

Justine Brown Contributing Writer